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The Running Blahs

Posted Oct 17 2012 8:15am

I have a bad case of the running blahs.

The last time I ran at all was last Monday (Columbus Day) at the Tufts 10K for Women . I accomplished my goal and finished with a personal best 10K time, and was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for all the hard work I had put in.

And I haven’t wanted to pick up my running sneakers since.

I worked my butt off and trained hard to improve my 10K time (I highly recommend the intermediate training plan by Women’s Running ), so there was definitely a lot of build-up leading up to the race. But now I feel unmotivated, tired and a bit deflated. Some might even call it a funk. I have to admit, it kind of caught me off guard. I thought I’d be riding the runner’s high from that race for quite awhile. I didn’t think it would end so abruptly.

So is this the fabled post-race blues?

I found this article on Active.com and it really hit the mark. In talking about post-event letdown, they write, “Although the experience seems to contradict common sense, it is common among achievement oriented people.”

That would definitely be me. I am a creature of habit; I love following a running schedule or regimen. But I also like a challenge, and I do my best when I’m held accountable, whether it’s here on the blog or with my family. Plus I’m someone who needs to have something to look forward to.

I know the “cure” is simple: find a new goal, lace up and get back out there. But it’s easier said than done. My motivation level is 0 right now. And that’s not to say I don’t want to work out; in fact, I’ve gone to several Body Pump classes and even took a spin class for the first time in forever last week. But I simply don’t want to run.

So today I decided enough is enough. I refuse to let this feeling go on much longer, which is why I have come up with a game plan to give those post-race blues a swift kick in the pants. Here’s my strategy:

  • Tonight I’m going to register for my last race of the season (a local 5K on October 27). I’ve been thinking about it but now I need to commit.
  • Tomorrow morning I’m going to get up around 5am and force myself to run on the gym treadmill for at least three miles. Just so I can get back up on that proverbial horse, so to speak.
  • I’m going to start compiling my 2013 race calendar, which will likely include longer races to train for and, most importantly, new challenges. Maybe knowing what’s on the horizon – and having a training start date to circle in red on my calendar – will save my running shoes from banishment in the back of my closet.
  • Try something new. I just purchased a Groupon for 10 CrossFit classes. Am I the only one who hasn’t tried CrossFit? It feels that way sometimes. Unfortunately, my regular gym doesn’t offer CrossFit and I can’t afford two gym memberships, but I’m curious to see what all the hype is about.

And to look on the positive side, at least now I know that I’m susceptible to the post-race blues, right? Now I can factor that into my training plans and racing schedule next year.

Have you experienced the runner’s blahs or post-race blues? How did you deal with them?


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